Safe boating begins before the first trip on the water - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Safe boating begins before the first trip on the water

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TOLEDO, Ohio -

The warmer weather can bring lots of fun.

Without some intentionality, though, the water can become a danger.

Last week, the Coast Guard searched for missing kayakers on Sandusky Bay.

This past weekend, the station in Toledo responded to a mayday call.

"The vessel was sinking. It was taking on water from an unknown source," Boatswain's Mate 1st Class Stephen Loudermilk told us.  "Good Samaritans picked up the people and brought them to shore, which speeded up the process because in this temperature of water, hypothermia can set in very quickly."

Despite milder air, this time of the year, the water is still dangerously cold.

Loudermilk added, "dress for the temperature of the water, not the temperature of the air.... you will lose your body temperature and core temperature, 25 times faster in water than in air."

Rivers are more dangerous than normal right now because of the recent flooding, as a strong current pushes debris downstream.

If you're getting ready to head out on the lake, the Coast Guard says spring maintenance will likely keep you safe.

"This time of the year, we really run into disabled boats where they didn't check their engines... Make sure there's not a bunch of leaves stuck inside that will hinder it from draining correctly. One thing a lot of people miss is putting the plug in your boat. They put their boat in the water, and next thing you know, they're taking on water.... Make sure your life jackets are good to go. Make sure your flares are not expired. If you have a radio, make sure your radio works."

Loudermilk also emphasized, "check the weather often because storms move quickly through here, and it can be calm out there, and then the next thing you know, there could be 4 to 5 foot seas."

One of the best ways to stay weather-aware when out on the water is through the Live Doppler 13,000 app.

No radar scans the western end of Lake Erie better than Live Doppler 13,000, located immediately south of Maumee Bay.

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